Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Something to worry about? Well.. take your pick

Bought the wrong newspaper yesterday (28/3/2023), The Mirror. Good heavens what a vitriolic rubbish. I suppose no British newspaper is good, they all seem to want to air their opinions on politics, one-sided only. Anyway, the Mirror is unabashedly Labour, no doubt about it. Funny though I say it, I had to agree with their main article. Their bit on Kwasi Kwarteng and also the delectable or should I say, kissable Matt Hancock. Well, someone wanted to kiss him. But the main thrust of the piece, dare I say it, money. I have said many times that there is a grey area with too many politicians about cash. Let’s not call it corruption yet but until it is made clear what is allowable I suppose it is. Parliament insists that all earnings outside are declared but how many seem to forget that? Even the Chair of the 1922 Committee seems to have different idea on how it is alright to ‘earn’ money on the side. What I have said in the past still holds strong today – people become politicians not because they say they hold a strong belief in bettering the lives of the poor and downtrodden. But it seems to them a nice job with loads of freebies and a possible road to many more riches. I suppose this is pretty stark and loads would say wrong as well! OK in that case tell me why you think it is wrong. Look at the behaviour, look at the House of Lords, the plosh sitting room with free snifters and a cash handout of £300 just for turning up to read the newspaper. Did someone say there is something wrong in this country?

I suppose it is what it is and until we get really serious about it, won’t change. I also wonder why the woke elite is silent about these things? This morning’s lead article in the Sun newspaper is about just that. The new elite governing Britain. I will not name them because mostly we all know them already, a football commentator, a political commentator, a busty (enhanced) TV presenter and an erstwhile aide-de-camp to a previous prime minister. These are the ‘elite’ pressing their woke ideas onto us, the great silent majority. They are doing so incessantly and as a result loads of young impressionable men and women or rather boys and girls, follow those opinions. You might note I do not use ‘ITs’ and ‘non-bio’ as I detest gender manipulation. However, the main problem is that government(s) seem to listen. Take the last Scottish First Minister, she created some problem with allowing male gender altered individuals to go to a female prison. What she had forgotten is the proclivity of some people to ‘use’ any system to their personal advantage. So, to obtain an easier sentence and prison term a male suddenly changed to female albeit without any operations or gender changing medications. By allowing this the First Minister had to make a hasty exit from the political arena. Yes, it is fun, fun, fun, in the UK today! Please, will someone tell the throng waiting for a transfer by inflatable dinghies in France?

Friday, 24 March 2023

Is it real help or just a token...?

Not sure whether any British politician has figured out what do to help the Ukraine. Sure, we will have (hopefully by now) sent some Chieftain tanks and also ammunition but the rate at which the Ukrainian army is using it, thanks to the ‘human wave’ tactics of the Russians, they need millions more bullets, grenades and missiles. The other thing which I do not understand is the reluctance to deliver up-to-date warplanes. It seems to escape our notice that the Russians are testing a. our resolve and b. our economics. Meaning the Russians expect our resolve to weaken, our economics to dive and to drive a wedge in the European Union and also NATO. Even though Britain is no longer a part of the EU we are still pretty well involved in the political rooms of Europe. Including military organisation. There should be no doubt in our thinking Russia will not stop despite sanctions, despite set-backs on the battlefield. In fact Russia is now building up allies, China is also part of that. We are simply facing authoritarianism versus democracy. Russia has simply gone back to what it has always done. From time to time despotic rule coupled with enormous corruption. Indeed, as it has today. I am not saying that we are clean, that corruption and despotic types of managers and politicians do not exist here but at least we do still have a free choice. To have peace is good, but a peace based on lies and conquered expansions of land, will never last.

We do have our lot of incompetents who due to their lack of knowledge may easily fall to corruption. As has been shown many times. The good thing here is that sooner or later they get caught. In the end I sincerely hope that our resolve will not weaken or waver and that through our support the Ukraine will be free and complete. It also should teach us a hard lesson and that is simply said – ‘ Never put all your eggs in one basket’. And ‘Be as self-reliant as possible’. Meaning that to be reliant on only outside supplies and suppliers, will eventually break you. To be self-sufficient is of paramount importance. We need to grow more of our own food. There will always be imports because some fruits for instance only grow in tropical climes. It is a big call and that is one of the reasons why politicians are looked upon with some trepidation and dismay. We have Prime Ministers Question Time in Parliament. If that is a porthole on how politicians make decisions and discuss the ramifications, then you know why they are held in contempt. I should hope that some might be strong enough to hold it together. But I do fear the present lot, bar a very few, fall way short of what we really need.



Thursday, 23 March 2023

What's wrong Pussycat? I don't know, I'm a dog...

Politicians in this country and possibly in other countries as well, are wondering why nobody likes them. Why they have lost the trust of the general population. Well, I can certainly tell them why that is. For a change politicians do not seem to have much of an idea what is going on. They don’t have a grip on the issues. The rules/laws they make tend to have so many sides to it that they are virtually useless. Development is one of the very much weaker issues that pertain the country. One of the issues is that development is permitted without thinking about infrastructure. I had to go to the hospital in Cardiff (The Heath) which is what I would term relatively modern and also very large! But with all the new building of houses in Cardiff the number of people has shot up and that would include also more people needing medical treatment. It is quite noticeable how busy this hospital is and from where I am sitting it is already way too small to accommodate the numbers! This is also shown with the parking problem. There is simply no room. 

Politicians keep on talking about giving more money to the NHS but I don’t think that’s the whole problem. Politicians don’t seem to know much about demography or topography. They built a hospital like the Heath in the year 1971 according to the present population then. It was hailed as the latest in technology, 1,000+ beds and all politicians opened the various bottles of champers and toasted each other on a job well done. Great so far. But then the selfsame politicians started to build whole new areas of housing and also did not notice what was going on with immigration which was increasing year by year. When present populations moved westward because of the pressure of having to find accommodation for incomers. When house-owners figured out that to move to cheaper areas like Wales was a lucrative business as they could rent out their property or sell at much higher prices. Some TV programmes were continually showing how nice and cheap life was in Wales. Free prescriptions, for instance made many pensioners think life would be better in Wales. Plus because property was much cheaper it also attracted people looking for a holiday property, and use it as a second home. Causing of course, local young people being unable to buy a house in their own area! Also that most of the year the property would stand empty. 

All these things could have been foreseen but were never being spoken of or researched by politicians. This country’s politicians are masters of the ‘OOOOH, I didn’t know that’. And ‘OOOOH, don’t blame me, that was then and this is now’. Look at good ol’ Boris. He didn’t know the difference between laws made and whether politicians had to abide by them. It all just is showing a total misconception of what is actually going on. Politics should not be an art that just plugs holes in society as they occur. Generally speaking people come in a host of varieties. Some good, some bad and some extremely bad. Yet laws or decisions to do something about bad behaviour or let’s say, criminality are woefully inadequate. Besides all of that law enforcers are also woefully inadequate insofar checking and understanding the purpose for which they were set-up.

It is time to reset all of this, make politicians go through some rigorous training so they before sitting on the hallowed green benches know exactly what ails or what is needed in our society. So, good luck Mr Rishi, see if you can do it.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Copper landline or go digital?

It’s a wonderful world still, isn’t it? Well, at least if things go our way it is. Sometimes we get ideas to do something and it all goes pear-shaped. I have got a brilliant self-installed network run by Linux (I have not used Windows in a million years). Just because I love hate their technology. I also had installed Linux with the best router in the world. Draytek Vigor. Never heard of it? No, neither had I but it leaves most of the others in the shade, usually the ones whom you would see advertised hourly. Its security is impressive. But I decided to upgrade! In the UK there are plans by BT (British Telecoms) to do away with all copper cables and go digital. And to do this by 2025! 

Now knowing how things tend to get done around here I think it would be 2055 before all that was done. But hey, a little upbeat message in these times of rising prices will do us great! Whether it is just hype or not even true, who cares? We must leave the backroom boys have their 5 minutes of glory. At least, they have proved they have a brain. A very small one to be fair but nevertheless it is a bit of some grey matter. So, we are going digital. Called VOIP, Voice over Internet Protocol. Yes, wonderful, what next? How do I get it without paying off existing contracts with IPs? Obviously we need new equipment. New phones, we still would need Broadband (obviously) and some companies will be set up to fleece us with inflated costs to provide the ‘SERVICE’. So, what would we really need? In reality it needs policing. Meaning you cannot just buy a digital phone, link it to your router and off you go, speaking for free with the rest of the world. Each one of us would have to have a number that would identify you. Much like the normal landline phone today. It is the way others would be able to contact just you and me and not a million others all at the same time. That just would not work very well. So, a contract for your line and some time based charges. I have already found this way of working existing. Companies like BOnline or Usomo, can issue a new number or port your existing number and for little cost marry that to a service costing a third of the present telephone charges. 

Typical contracts can be something like a tenner a month (Ten pounds sterling). So, what would we need? We should have a VOIP capable router and preferably digital phones although normal phones can work with a VOIP capable router. I already have a VOIP capable router so am awaiting further developments. But presumably I will have to negotiate a deal with a company to have the digital line and they may even sell the phones although you can get them already from the likes of Amazon. Although having said that, Usomo offer a monthly contract for £8.00 that includes the needed phone for free! It’s incredible what new technology can do. I understand most of the US already have gone digital but as usual the UK is slow out of the start blocks. I think it has something to do with pressures by companies to slow things down so they can flog all their old equipment at inflated prices. Look at the broadband shambolic market. Even knowing that we will go digital they still flog broadband deals at prices that send shivers along my spine. BT in particular is not ashamed to ramp the costs up. So, knowing all this I have taken some steps to deal with the coming changes. Let it come!

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Panic! Snow's around....

PANIC!!! Some snow has been seen in South Wales. Bread and milk all gone (within 5 seconds of the first flake falling). In my place, cars are moving freely but all schools have been closed. The temperature is close to zero which means the bottom layer of snow is already slush! The birds in our garden are still feeding from the hoppers out with black sunflower seeds. (Which the tits love). Funny to see the much heavier jackdaws trying as well but can’t. I now see long-tailed tits which were never seen around here but now there are loads and all having a go at the fatballs! Sometimes five are hanging on the same feeder at the same time and in the tree next they are waiting as well. Close to eleven o’clock the snow is stopping – according to the authorities on the subject. We’ll see, I have not a lot of confidence in authorities nowadays. Too many seem to be staffed by complete idiots. Does anyone check educational attainment nowadays? Well, good question, listening to the kids coming home from school they learned a lot about colour composition because they had to do two paintings or drawings showing the teacher who had a qualification in how to vacuum clean a living room. Fortunately she gained a certificate so I am satisfied she knows what she is talking about. At least, she appears to know the difference in shade between red and orange. When I asked the kids how you would find the square root of a number by only using division and no calculator, they were stumped. Simple arithmetic is not taught anymore nor is arithmetic just using your brain. No paper, no pen. No wonder councils cannot figure out their budgets. It takes all year apparently and then it is full of errors. Same for the main government. Well, you noticed I am at home as I cannot get to work, time to sweep the front of the house and sweep the snow of the glass roof of the greenhouse!

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Mobiles - The death of Childhood?

Question – Why are we not banning TikTok? It would be relatively easy. A message to parents – check what your child is doing on their mobiles. We are using a paid-for software called Famisafe. Guess what – yes, TikTok, YouTube, and its Kids equivalent are banned. TikTok must be viewed as an insidious bit of software made and governed by the Chinese. It’s basically spying on everything you do. As parents you have a responsibility to see what’s being downloaded and used and how your daughters and sons are using messaging on Whatsapp. Make no mistake, companies like Meta (erstwhile Facebook etc) have no wish to alter anything. They want you to use them without any restrictions whatsoever. Why is that the case? Well, money, their profits. Advertising pays millions if not billions, into their coffers. They will not change until forced to do so by governments and law makers. Google, a benevolent company? Forget that quickly, they are not. The same thing applies there, money. On its own there is nothing wrong with earnings. Money, finance, makes the world go round and round. But when it becomes the all over-riding modus operandi even to the tune of world domination and destruction of all opposition, then it becomes a destructive force. A force for evil. That is the situation today. The Internet has been hacked by malevolent forces, criminal forces and the sooner we get to grips with that, the better.

Just look at TV programs like ‘Love Island’, it will give you a pretty good insight of the world inhabited by empty-headed girls and boys. Or perhaps I should say, ‘Young men and women’. All that matters is how you look. Words like ‘Toxic femininity’ abound and this is something we see all around now in our schools as well. Girls goad boys whilst their mates film this on their mobiles. In the next five minutes we will all be able to see it on TikTok. I am in favour of banning cameras on mobiles. Sorry, but as I said, the whole shebang is not used as intended but used for nefarious purposes. We, as people are just unable to govern ourselves and remember one of the mantras that has been around for a long time ‘ Treat others as you would be like to be treated’. To some extent, all of this has had a bearing on the Woke fraternity and how they see the world. All aided by the ubiquitous mobile phone. I am not advocating sending the mobile phone to nether regions but we do need to control their use much better. The sooner the better! But above all I would urge parents to take more care, more interest in what the kids are doing. Remember and I know that 99.9999% of people ignore this advice, kids should not to be using mobile phones until they are 13 years old. One 15 year old girl (read on the website) said mobiles are the death of childhood. I suppose I could not have said it any better.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Food? Yeah, where is it?

Most of my friends and acquaintances are panicking about food supplies. The local supermarkets have curtailed allowances of certain greens and fruit. I am scratching my head because I must be frank – I haven’t seen anything! Perhaps I do not panic quickly but my local supermarket just has a few lettuces on view a but plenty of prepacked tomatoes! At this time I do not really eat lettuce anyway but I can see the point. Spain has had a few problems growing lettuce. However, why have we arrived in this situation? I have thought and said, we are not growing enough of the food we need in this country ourselves. I used to drive back from Birmingham where most of my customers were, back to South Wales via the fruit growing area of Herefordshire. Great views as well! Malvern Hills, Ledbury and more. But there were always billions of plums for sales, apples and pears galore but today, all virtually gone! The orchards deleted like a software program. I suppose it is not much different with vegetables. You may ask – Why? Well, I think there are two things, first of all the government doesn’t care a hoot and that is not strange as they don’t care a hoot about anything. They all believe it is cheaper to import. Secondly, the nation’s growers do not receive any support whatsoever. In fact it is the reverse. Taxation and operating costs are sky-high. Planning laws mostly stops farmers from providing up-to-date buildings because you know, in this country we rather see dilapidated farms because it reminds us of the glorious past when we were an Empire. You might well ask – how were we in the industrial areas during the empiric days? Well, plenty of data here, just Google the ‘Victorian Age’ and see how well the workers were treated. It’s all just gobblydygook. As a result we do grow very little in this country. Yes, there are some tomato growers in Norfolk and you might be able to buy some cucumbers, potatoes are also available but already going out of stock. The governments lax attitude to all this is worrying viewing climate change. As we already hear complaints by farmers about the very dry months after Christmas, it does not augur well if this summer will be excessively dry! If we have what we had last summer prices in the autumn will be sky-high! Climate change is here, there is no longer any doubt. It might get much worse. I noticed when it rains the raindrops are twice the size and the amount of rain that falls quickly overcomes the drains. The roads in our town flood quickly because of not cleaning the sewers and too much rubbish left by ‘caring’ people. Our river at the back is very busy eroding its banks which I had never seen before. The river can rise by feet in a matter of minutes! So, there you have it, a problem facing us all, climate and food. Now just hope the government will wake up and stop guzzling the champagne.

Saturday, 4 March 2023

Party-gate, did anyone enjoy the party?

Not sure what other people think about the continuing inquiries that permeate the British political system. One might think – ‘Is it not about time they started to govern’? Every day there are hour long political debates what has happened or not happened at parties held during lock-down at the time of the Covid pandemic. Now there is everybody frothing at the mouth about a political loser whose WhatsApp messages miraculously appeared in the public domain. Instead of tackling important issues like HS2 and its continuing financial problems, the bad economical situation of the nation burdened by a national debt of gigantic proportions and above all the energy problems; we are keeping very busy being regaled on all the shenanigans our wonderful capable politicians have been up to. 

When reading some of the WhatsApp messages released you might say – ‘What the f**k’? Well, first of all, the guy who wrote the rubbish should need a quick lesson in what is important in this world and go back to primary school to re-learn how to behave within society. The same goes for the journalist he trusted to write his memoirs, no matter what she says now, what she has done is to say the least, reprehensible. Next, the high powered lady who chaired the Inquiry, the so-called Party-gate inquiry. She suddenly decided to go back to her leftie roots and is most likely to join the Labour party to be Keir Starmer’s sidekick. She has obviously taken a few too many snifters of the freely available champagne within the hallowed circles of government and forgotten how this would look to the Inquiry which as now become a bit of a laughing stock. At the same you may start thinking what in all honesty did Keir Starmer think of? As the leader of the opposition and lawyer to boot, he should have known the likely kickback of such a decision to offer a job to someone who was highly regarded as an independent person and the right one to lead a difficult Inquiry. That now has all been thrown into doubt.

As I indicated above, government in this country continues to shoot itself in the foot if not the head! Both sides are slugging it out in the personality stakes. It is like sword fighting on the old schooners of yonder times whilst singing Rule Britannia as the ship is slowly sinking. I know there will be an election, probably 2024 rather than 2025 because the way this is going we need a dictatorship when Army generals will have to impose order. I will be classified as an idiot saying that but does anyone have a better idea? The money wasted by this and previous governments is of staggering proportions. Due to incompetence, bad decision making and departments working against each other. It is high time to call an end to all this rubbish and correct the course of the Ship of State!

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Is this a diatribe? Hmmm, maybe.

As a church member of more than 30 years I have, like thousands of other members, tried to be a Christian. Sometimes failing but at least most of us are and keep trying. I suppose people not going to church tend to think of us as goody-goody and better than them. The good news here is, not only is that not true as in fact we certainly are not goody-goody nor do we think ourselves better than those who are not Christian. As a matter of fact we know we are not so good and acknowledge that fact before God. Most of us try to abide by what the Bible teaches. At least up to now. Because the mouthpiece that is the Church, and in my area that would be the Church in Wales and to some extent the Church of England, now are seemingly diverging from the Bible. Today it just seems to pander to the Woke brigades clamouring for everything. I personally do not believe that the Bible is the infallible voice or word of God. But it has a two-thousand and more years old report about human life in search of God. The Bible does show that throughout. In particular the Old Testament shows the successes and also the many failures. But generally speaking as Christians we hold to the tenets of the faith as outlined in the Bible. Now, the Church and its priests ought be in the forefront of that. I think they have lost it. In the rush to placate and in the hope of finding converts or new members, the Church is now watering down some of the beliefs. In fact the Church of England soon will be discussing whether they ought to rewrite all their service material so as to be gender neutral. So, God will not be He, God will be an It. As it is it would be more to my opinion about what God is, as I think in God there is no gender at all.

So, the question of marriage comes up frequently, together with gender. Should the Church allow marriage between same-sex couples. The question of being gay in itself is not really under attack. Let’s be fair being born gay, either female (lesbianism) or male (homosexual) is part of life on Earth. It happens. Either through some natural issue like genetics or possibly chemical (the issue of high levels of oestrogen in drinking water). Marriage between a man and a woman is first mentioned in Genesis 2:24. The New Testament also states in Matthew 19:4-5 the words from Jesus.You can look them up, even on the Internet. So quite clearly the Church must teach what is in the Bible. It does not mean the Church should ban gay people from getting married, there are plenty of opportunities without the Church. However, it is quite proper to have such a marriage blessed.

My problem is that as I look around me to the world I am seeing all sorts of attacks on long standing rules, beliefs, in fact there is no field which is not under attack. If we are going to ignore the old texts on which our faith as Christians is based, we might as well shut up shop altogether and go home.

 Yn y cyfamser - Hapus Ddyd Gwŷl Dewi! Gweddiwch drosof fi bechadur tlawd!

Monday, 27 February 2023

After Illness comes the reality again.. I think?

That was the week that was, picking up a stomach bug, giving some pretty bad cramps. The funny thing was, it seemed to coincide with something that I had eaten. Food poisoning perhaps? Or just a bout of some flu virus. I did measure for COVID but that was OK. All of the week I was bad enough not to be able to sleep properly, but hey all now back to normal. So, I can read the papers again properly and watch the news on TV. Possibly wasting my time really but hey, why not.

The old game that is played in Britain has had another result. The game is called ’Who is to blame’? This game is a particular favourite of politicians and those heading organisations such as big companies. The game starts with the words – ‘It is not MY fault’, and ‘It wasn’t ME’, followed by ‘Don’t look at ME’. Ending by ‘Who can we blame’? Lovely game that, kids also love that game, a real British pastime. So, what is this about? Well, reports are coming out that says the diving expert who was taken on by the Lancashire police has been struck off the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) list of experts. Now, what does that smell like? The body of Nicola was found only less than a mile from where she allegedly went into the river. That was after the expert said he didn’t think she was in the river at all. I suppose he did not help himself saying that. But as it is he was not a policeman but someone from the general population who was experienced in underwater research. And that is the point, underwater research. Apparently the body was just not laying on the bottom of the river but perhaps was even half within reeds or whatever grows on the banks there. These rivers tend also to have small indentations like small coves scourged out by the fast streaming water when in flood. I know that from the river that flows at the back of my garden, it constantly changes! The stuff you see coming down, deposited on the banks and taken away again, rocks, stones and sandy mud clogging up bits making the water run a bit differently until the next flood. So, either the diver missed the body completely or it wasn’t there at the time he searched that bit of water. Interesting questions for sleuths to talk about I suppose. But to point out his failure is a bit much looking at the way the police itself behaved and carried out their task. For a start there was far too much talk. Yes, obviously there was a lot of media interest but if I had been a police official you would only have heard ‘Sorry the investigation is continuing, we will call a media meeting as soon as we know more’, and leave it at that. It was rather unhelpful to give any private details about the lady in question. The question is, why? In the meantime, I do agree the diver did not help himself in the way he talked about not finding a body but that in itself with such media intrusion is not unusual. The media is not averse to somewhat ‘change’ the words or meaning of what is said. It sure makes for interesting reading! Talk about fake information but I am not saying this is what happened here. Hoping then this will be sorted out and the diver and company will be re-instated and not be made the scapegoats for some botched work by police. Overall we have to remember the whole situation is extremely hurtful for the family of the deceased person. At least leave them grieving in private and peace. 

Ed 1/3/23 - The blame game will shortly play out in full. The latest is the game of 'Don't let thugs, criminals, sex-offenders be facing deportation'. 'Remember their human rights'. OK, what have human rights to do with criminality and eventual punishment? Most are not even British nationals. Those that have a different nationality must be deported to their country of origin. Simple as that. One of these thugs is Ernesto Elliott, a Jamaican who was supposed to be deported in 2020 but the usual woke brigade, MPs, long-haired lawyers, and a host of celebrities instantly started their usual 'What about their human rights'? So, no deportation and some time later he killed another man in some argument. So, as is asked, who is to blame? And very soon a host of aforementioned hairy lawyers, MPs, and celebrated celebrities will publicly shout - 'Not me, Guv! Not my fault, it wasn't me, don't look at me'! The Blame Game will be in full flow!

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Roald will now be woker than woke? Really?

Reports have come in from Great Missenden, in fact from the graveyard of St Peter’s and St Paul’s. The earth has moved by 10 yards. It seemed to have originated over Roald Dahl’s grave. I am not surprised that poor Roald has turned over a few hundred times and tried to get out. The author of James and the Giant Peach (1961) and a host of other books has now been subjected to the 2023 rage of woke authoritianism.

Apparently the publishers (Puffin) have decided to re-write some texts in order to remove so-called ‘affronts’. That is to say, words like ‘fat’, ‘ugly’ (Caspar Slok) and witches can no longer wear wigs because they are ‘bald’. Presumably witches must now look like beauty queens. Ooooh sorry, cannot say queens anymore either, OK then look and act like ‘Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare’. Perhaps they will now take Shakespeare to task next! When will this idiocy stop? Even the Church of England, and I suppose the Church in Wales will follow suit, is planning to rewrite most if not all, of its services, to change the language to what is now known as gender neutrality. Meaning no difference to female or male in the writing. I presume God will now be ‘IT’ . So in print the Lord’s Prayer could be as follows; Our Non-Binary, who art in heaven, hallowed be its name. Its land will come. Its will be done. On our planet as it is above. Etc, etc. Again, I will ask – WHEN WILL THIS LUNACY STOP? On top of all this rubbish we surely have to remember the precarious financial position of the Church as income from gifts and weekly giving surely has dived! The Church is still a big landowner, and property owner so perhaps it’s time to start monetizing?

Roald wrote his books and yes, he was not always ‘kind’. History should show us that for most if not all of the time, people have been particularly ‘unkind’! To the point of massacring whole populations. We cannot walk away from such history but have to acknowledge that is how we are. Humankind is the most destructive animal that walks the planet. I am afraid that will never stop because it is simply in our genetic make-up. Obviously, there are good sides to that as well. We can turn this to the betterment of our environment. To be progressive and building up instead of destruction. If you want to look at what I mean, just look a few hundred miles to the East. There is a country basically being flattened. For what? Well, allow me to scratch my head, I haven’t an idea! The whole thing just defies the normal senses. Now I hope that the damage done to Roald Dahl’s grave will be repaired and Puffin will stop altering books to allay the ‘hurt’ feelings of a few totally deranged minorities. I am certain the witches will still be bald and prefer to wear a wig. And Caspar will still be having a high BMI!

As an codicil I must add I do believe in gender equal opportunity, such as equal pay for equal work. I see no point in holding women back from education or work because they are women. But I do celebrate the differences between male and female. The weaknesses and the strengths of both.

Saturday, 11 February 2023

History repeating itself? You bet!

Does anyone really know much about history nowadays? I mean comparing certain periods from the timeline to other periods and noting similarities? Just take the time after the First World War, so the years 1920 to 1939. Compare this to today. The years 1945 to 55 were more or less to get out of the destruction and we were busy with rebuilding and resetting the economies of Europe. Then in the twenties, the political situation started to change. Things became more aggressive again. Just look at today's politics, virtually the same as the late twenties (after the Great Depression), a greater division between left and right streams. In the UK we have a so-called socialist party (Labour) that actually is nothing of the sort. It does nothing much for the lower classes. In fact it has become extremely belligerent to the tune of wanting to kill all Tories (Tories=Conservatives). When confronted they invariably say it is a figure of speech. Just as people like Hitler or today’s Putin would say. Politics today is on a growth curve, a curve of provocation, a curve of aggression.

If that curve will keep on climbing it will most certainly end up with armed conflict. If you would note the stance Russia has taken over the last few years you will see the similarities between Nazi Germany of the Thirties. It is the same scenario. This is not just the Russians, the Chinese and North Koreans follow the same rule book. Not only that but the response to these situations by the so-called ‘free world’, is mostly the same as the Thirties as well. Appeasement in the hope it will all blow away. For instance, the European nations and the US are holding back on supplying the Ukrainian government and people the very weapons they need to combat the Russian invasion. The thought process seems to be something like this – If we don’t give the tanks, the jets, Russia will not use nukes. To me that is a flawed idea. Noting the Russian or Chinese systematic approach you will note a predetermined path which they do not seem to divert from. It is the human condition, you go as far as you can, in the hope there will be no reply. In the meantime take the Goebbels theory of denying everything and simply carry on. All so predictable? I’d say so, looking at history!

Friday, 10 February 2023

Yes, what about your weapons then?

President Zelensky was in the UK and also on a trip to other European states. It was heartwarming to see the welcome, and one might have thought ‘Great, now the war will be over soon what with all the new equipment being given’. The reality, unfortunately, is much different, nothing has been promised! The Germans are still reluctant to send the tanks, the French dither as usual and here in the UK we stand in our old rotting buildings applauding then go home happy we have done a good job. The reality is the war will continue and frankly the way it is going Ukraine will be forced to accept the loss of the provinces claimed or rather already annexed, by Russia. What our Western leaders do not seem to get into their champagne sodden brains is that Russia will never give up its belief in their empire. They simply want to go back to what was the USSR and more. Because their influence in those days came over Poland, Eastern Germany, all the Baltics, Romania, Bulgaria, and even half of Austria. Well, as long as we understand that, OK so be it. Can someone tell Mr Biden what the world is really like? President Zelensky is absolutely spot on when he said that his nation is standing against the oppressors in defense of democracy. The problem is most western leaders don’t quite see it. Sure, they play along, the words are fluent and suave but there is NO substance. The way western leaders and nations are today just strengthens and continues the oppressing regimes in China, Russia and others. Part of the problem is that the US needs an enemy. An enemy, real or imaginary, to justify its dream of being the only superpower on the planet. To justify the trillions spent on defense. And the UK is happily trundling along in its wake. Except we cannot afford a sausage even. We might manage to build a few aircraft carriers but whether those will be effective in the hard reality of this world remains to be seen. But they make nice TV programmes.

I am not at all sure why we let Russia make the play. Surely, the way they perform is reprehensible and an affront to human dignity? War is not nice, it is bloody and destructive but what Russia is doing is even beyond that. We all should be looking at history and seeing that empires have a habit of disintegrating. That dictators usually come to an early end and not always a nice one either. That nations showing off military might (incl the US) soon find the costs outstrip the ability to finance it. But I fear historical lessons are not taken, nor read. Just ask Hitler, or Mussolini or for that matter, Genghis Khan or Attila. Don’t bother Mr Biden, don’t wake him, please. I like him.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Unrhywbeth gael ychydig o hwyl, yng Nghymraeg!

Heddiw dw i’n ddarllen llyfr newydd – Cysgod y Cryman (Shadow of the Sickle) gan Ffowc Elis. Mae’n stori am teulu’n byw ar fferm. Hefyd, mae gan y llyfr lawer o eiriau Gymraeg newydd i ddysgwyr. Ac idiomau fel hyn – ar fy llw (by golly), dim o’r fath beth (nothing of the sort), ac geiriau fel eiddigeddus (jealous), diawc (you know, as an expression), tyrd (come!). Gwych yn wir! Dw i’n dal i ddysgu Cymraeg ond dal angen cyfieithu â Ap Geiriadur o’r Prifysgol Bangor. Y broblem fwyaf yw mai ychydig o siaradwyr Cymraeg sydd o gwmpas yr ardal. Dw i’n eisiau‘r cyfle siarad â siaradwyr rhugl. Efallai, gallai defnyddio’r Rhyngrwyd fod o gymorth. Yn y cyfamser fe fydda i’n barhau darllen llyfr Cysgod y Cryman. Yn ffodus, mae’r llyfr yn cynnwys cyfieithiadau o’r geiriau anodd. Arfbais (Coat of Arms), a beth am anghynaladwy? Ie, gair am ein triniaeth o’r blaned a’r defnydd o’i hadnoddau! Unsustainable! Un cwestiwn, pam ydy bobl yn drio newid yr iaith? Defnyddio fformatau fel dw i yn lle rydw i neu joio yn lle mwynhau? Hyd yn oed yn waeth a ddim - yr wyf i? Gwneud lleferydd yn haws? Wir? Wel, dw i’n gobeithio dysgu llawer o’r geirau newydd ac hefyd y rhai fyddaf byth yn defnyddio!

Dw i’n credu bobl yn byw yng Nghymru fe dylen nhw siarad yr iaith o’r genedl, Cymraeg. Pam lai, neu dysgwch yn gyflym. Ik spreek ook Nederlands (Dw i’n siarad Isaldireg hefyd achos roedd fy ngeni yno). Yn anffodus, dw i ddim yn defnyddio Cymraeg yn aml ond gobeithio newid yn ystod eleni ‘ma. Cwestiwn arall, ble mae’r llyfrgelloed nawr? Atebion i AS lleol!

Rhywbeth arall, rhaid roeddwn i mynd i’r ysbyty. Pam? Oherwydd rhaid y llawfeddyg diddymu rhai tyfiannau mawr o fy nghefn. Neis iawn achos nawr alla i mynd nofio yn y môr eto! Yn ystod yr haf, wrth gwrs, mae hi braidd yn oer ar hyn o bryd. Mae He-man wedi dod yn ôl! Dw i ‘n wybod am broblemau gyda’r GIG ond yr ysbyty Cwm Rhondda yn dda iawn. Yn ôl at y llyfr nawr! Unrhywbeth gael ychydig o hwyl!



Sunday, 5 February 2023

Language? What is it...

Dw i’n gwerthfawrogi byw yng Nghymru ond nawr dysgu’r iaith dydw i ddim yn deall defnyddio geiriau fel jôcs (jokes), joio (enjoy), dreifio (drive), ac hyd yn oed weithiau wso (use). Mae’r rhain gyfieithiadau gwael amlwg o eiriau Saesneg! Stoppo! Gair arall eto!

Y gair Gymraeg i stoppo neu stopio ydy atal (prevent), neu aros (wait) a hefyd gair arall feindio ! Feindio? Beth yw hynny? Wel, dim does gair Cymraig cywir am ‘find’. Gallwch defnyddio ‘dod o hyd’, neu ‘canfod neu darganfod’. Darganfod ydy ‘discover’ a canfod ydy ‘detect’. Felly, stoppo wso neu joio ydy geiriau Saesneg! Os dymunwn achub Cymru fel gwlad â’i hiaith ei hun, atal defnyddio geiriau Saesneg.

I ddysgwyr ‘r iaith – joio ydy mwynhau, dreifio ydy gyrru, wso ydy defnyddio, wrth gwrs.

The above is a observation I have made a few times. The use, especially here in the southern part of Wales, the use of English words. To make these more like Welsh they then put io at the end. So, to stop has become stoppio or stoppo, to enjoy became joio, and even drive a car has now become dreifio car. Even a simple word like to use now is wso or wsio. These words do NOT exist in the Welsh language! It is basically laziness to use Welsh proper words although they may a bit difficult to pronounce at first. Words like Mwynhau (moonhai as it is pronounced) for to enjoy. Gyrru (kurrie) for to drive and so on. 

In Wales there is a definite increase for the idea of independence, to preserve its identity, and I am certain that to bastardise the language like this does not help one bit. The English are lazy as far as languages are concerned. They have the idea that everybody speaks English. I used to enjoy films about the English gentlemen and ladies travelling in Africa or the Far East and literally shout at the locals. Then turning to their companions saying, ‘They don’t speak proper, you know’. It is still like that today! And what’s worse, it is aided by many Welsh people! Even teachers! Aran of ‘Say Something in Welsh’, a very good intro in learning the Welsh language and available at minimal cost on the Internet; he as well uses joio and terms like that. 

I think personally it is not correct to do so, even though loads of Welsh people in the south do. It is no excuse to say, ‘Well, languages evolve’ and indeed they do but not quite in the way Welsh is today. Already Welsh has two distinct variations, North and South and even in Dyfed (South Western Wales – Dyfed and Ceredigion) have differences. It would help to establish a strong drive to standardise teaching of the Welsh language and prohibit the use of slang words or even words made up because its simpler.


Friday, 3 February 2023

A bit on mobile phone use, and security...

Mobile phones – a curse or a blessing? Well, frankly speaking it just depends how each and everyone of us who have one, use it. For a start I believe most people do not use the available security methods. For instance if you have a VPN this can work on multiple (usually about 5) electronic devices. My phone automatically switches to the VPN. You ought to switch off Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) if not needed. Apparently Apple Pay does not allow NFC to be switched off. Google Pay does. Most important don’t forget to set a proper password. Use the three word or more system and perhaps intersperse the words with a symbol as well! If you are afraid you will forget your passwords, look at a password manager. The best free one is Bitwarden, there is a paid for one as well but the free one is more than sufficient for most users. Bitwarden will need a master password so use one you will remember as it is the ONLY one you will have to.

Insofar as Google use is concerned I learned from a TV documentary that there are criminals now using this to hoodwink users. In some fashion when in your searches on the web you have clicked on a ‘promising’ website it may have been hijacked. It pays to be vigilant. My mantra is – Do not act on advertisements in any way. If you are interested in a product, by all means look at the adverts but then leave the website and then visit the company's website separately. At least you will know you are where you want to be and not on a site from criminals. The other good safety you can have is a Yubikey. I use one and this way your Google account cannot be used by anyone else. Your key can also be used with mobile phones (via NFC). A simple tap will identify you. It costs some £60 but it is worth every penny. You can set up the key with a host of companies as well. I have to say that the UK is a bit behind with companies that can work with the Yubikey. Tesco for instance, although they are working on it.

Tesco has finally allowed GPay (Google Pay) and as long as you possess a phone with NFC capability (not all cheaper mobiles have the technology) you can pay with your phone and also link your ‘Clubcard’. In fact you can link all your bank cards. It is therefore doubly important to have a strong screenlock pincode. Today you may see what is known as a QR Code, a sort of block image you point your phone to and it will load a webpage. I would advise users NOT to use this unless you’re 100% sure it is genuine. Fraudsters have used QR Codes already and even if you think you are logging in to your bank you are directed to what looks like your bank but isn’t. I do not use QR Codes by choice. If I want to go to a website I will always first and foremost use their URL( Uniform Resource Locator), the correct website address. Remember, fraudsters if impersonating a company, use an address that looks almost the same but invariably there are differences. It pays to be vigilant, your mobile is a gateway to the world but like any gate it can be entered from the other side! So don’t leave it open!

Thursday, 2 February 2023

What happened to our society?

It really surprises me to note how thoughtless the human race actually is. We seem to simply accept we are the only thing that matters on this planet. We, without any thoughts at all, use it for our own ease and disregard every other living entity. We use the land to plonk our mostly substandard houses all over the place. We disgorge our wastes and other effluents into any available watercourse or just use the sea. Not so long ago a small seaside village on the Welsh coast had a lovely beach. Unfortunately close by was a large sewage outlet. Swimming there you would notice the usual rubbish. We called them brown trouts! No prizes for guessing what they were! Fortunately that has been remedied but even today large amounts of sewage still gets into our waters. The river at the back of my house also carries sewage because our Victorian sewers are by no means of the standard you would expect in 2023! All of it is without any regard for other living animals, fish, or birds. We just pay lip-service to preservation of nature. Money is the only thing that matters. 

Our planning services from Councils and other government offices are only geared to see how much money can be made from taxes. And if we think that is all in this country, we should think again. Our waste, glass, tins, paper, vegetable left-overs and other food waste has accumulated so much we are close to saturation point. Running out of landfill sites!. We are not the only country, in Indonesia there are rivers so clogged up with plastic waste you cannot see the water! Whole communities in Africa live on the enormous spoil heaps! I remember a TV report that a Tesco bag and other waste clearly identifiable was seen in a spoil heap in Malaysia! Apparently what happened is that our British waste is now just exported to countries that have few laws governing waste disposal, if any at all. All that is done without any regard for wildlife. It is just – out of sight is out of mind.

This morning I listened to a BBC News item concerning cranes coming back to a site in Gloucestershire, that is a great story because cranes had disappeared and have not been seen in southern Britain for nigh on 50 or more years, if not longer. But does anyone ever think why they disappeared? Or even why animals disappear at all? But look at the housing springing up everywhere, it is all about us, humans. Animals, the whole environment is for our use, nothing else. Hard words, but true! Do developers care? Well, no, I don’t think they do. Only make sounds to say they care for the environment and they will show they have put some grass outside the front doors. Brilliant, the moles will be happy! The truth is unless we take this far more serious we will in the end just have to take what is coming our way. That might be much more costly than we think. If only we can pay the bills, if not then I will just wave the Welsh flag before my head goes under the water. No greater end than a martyr’s end!

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

What is not a sham nowadays?

Does anyone ever think the political world is a bit of a sham? For instance, the continuing hype about nuclear war. There are many films, mostly American, that portray nuclear war and its aftermath. Then there is the idea that the West, i.e America of course, has to have the most up-to-date weapon systems costing billions of dollars every year. But of what are they, or we, afraid of? There was the Soviet Union, now just Russia, and that nation has been continually projected as the ‘baddie’. Now, there is some truth in that from a political view, but I am beginning to see that it is just a sham! Russia has never been a nation that in any way could have threatened the free Western nations with a military escapade! Western soldiers, even conscripts, do have a exacting training regime plus up-to-date weaponry. The British armed forces, though smallish compared to the million or so Russians, would very quickly decimate the opposing army. 

This view is strengthened today by seeing what a mess the Russians have made of their incursion into Ukraine. All that is shown is a continual indiscriminate artillery barrage and failing infantry escapades from conscripts who do not want to be there in any way shape or form. In infantry being thrown into battle without adequate support resulting in thousands of needless deaths. The Russians are just like those of old, the Mongols. They count on multiple rushes of soldiers onto the bayonets of the enemy. Costing thousands of deaths. Now it seems that we, the West, have discounted the Russians and now need a new enemy in order to justify our incredibly costly arms expenditure.

So, up have come the Chinese. It is rather an interesting debate that has come about. First, we spend billions if not trillions, to bolster the Chinese economy by allowing them to become probably the largest manufacturer of goods to be exported. With thanks to their enormous cheap labour market. No wonder the Chinese economy has moved in only a few decades from a basket case to the second richest nation on Earth! Soon to become the richest. It is of course looking at the size of the country, and the number of different ethnicities, it is necessary to rule with an iron fist. Not allowing opposition in any shape or form. I expect that in the future these countries, large and having a multitude of different ethnic people and religions, will begin to fall apart.

The funny thing is people from history have written about the human condition. The condition of freedom, of repression, the continuing need to be numero uno. European history in particular will show that tendency. So many wars of conquest, defeats, collapse, starting again, right up to the 20th century! And now the 21st century still showing us that things have not changed. This time it is the Russian belief they need a buffer-zone between them and the West. A sphere of influence. But it could also be that Ukraine has recently developed oilfields and in fact has quite a better economic level than Russia. Even though Russia has possible great resources in its Siberian backyard. It is just that – a backyard. From where I am sitting I would say that Ukraine will be a major force in Europe, even more prosperous than Germany!

We’ll see but I have already told my children to watch out.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Where are purple-headed, ring-nosed entities?

Sometimes interesting journalism reaches our eyes. One of such did on last Thursday in the Sun newspaper. An article by Piers Morgan. Piers is well-known for having upright strong views. Nothing wrong with that because it engenders a proper debate. Well, at least it should. But unfortunately, here in the UK, debate about gender issues is virtually impossible. Let me put here some of the things Piers said: We have allowed a bunch of purple-headed, ring-nosed, humour-devoid, permanently howling woke fascists to bully and shame us (i.e the rest of us ‘normal’ people) into believing their insane views are the only ones to be tolerated.

Oh yes, that’s putting it mildly! If I put down my own views the computer on which you would read it would burst into flames. As Piers said: By kowtowing to this vile, censorious, cancel culture mob, we have created a society fearful to defend even the most basic principles and values of a free and open democracy. Yes, exactly right! We are in danger of marching – again – into a society which is run by vile, hate ridden extremists. What is incredible to say is that most of this seems to be originating in our universities! Students today stand in the forefront of gender-neutral politics and no-one knows exactly where these views come from. Perhaps this is the result of years of universities dumbing-down courses in order to have more mediocre students into the door. Just look at some of the subjects now ‘taught’. We love to garble on about ‘human rights’, LBGT+ rights, rights to call yourself non-binary (what does that mean for heaven’s sake?) amongst other phobias. People like Ms Rowling of Potter fame, the MP Ms Duffield are shouted down, vilified, hounded and are literally in fear of the lives. It is us the great silent majority who are now guilty of allowing such garbage to continue. 

The government such as it is today, weak and powerless, nevertheless should take a stand and as Piers headline stated, MAN UP, GROW A PAIR AND FIGHT BACK! Until we do this country will continue to slide down a steep slope. In fact the whole of western society should take this to task. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. I am a big supporter of freedom of speech but surely we should, at all times, use propriety, sensibility and refrain from using inflammatory language or actions. Things like ‘chopping off heads’ for instance. In the end we need to be sensible,the facts are that all mammalian entities and that includes us, have only TWO genders. They are either born female or male. Some unfortunate things do occur due to our habits of meddling with chemicals and such. But these are not the norm. Even so if and when these happen we do need to rectify medically or look after such individuals. Any other genders are made up fantasies just to promote a particular view or opinion. It should be stopped forthwith, and a heavy fine imposed. Something like £1,000 and if not stopped the next fine to be quadrupled. Thank you Piers, now let’s weed out the idiots.